2 pg paper | BMGT 110 | University of Maryland University College

 

Purpose:

Throughout the course, you have learned a wide array of business concepts and theories.  This assignment is designed to have you demonstrate knowledge of the course material learned in the course applying concepts and theories to a case scenario.

Outcomes Met With This Assignment:

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • identify the critical business functions and how they interact in order to position the organization to be effective in the current business environment
  • explain the importance of the integration of individuals and systems to organizational effectiveness
  • describe the ethical and social responsibilities that confront a business

This project is the second of two projects.  You will read a case scenario related to starting a small business.  Many of the concepts learned in the course are seen in this project.  The project requires you to go beyond mentioning concepts but requires you to apply the concepts.

A requirement of this project is to write a report.  In business, a report is formal document that addresses specific information with a clear purpose and to a particular audience.  Information is presented in a clearly structured format that uses headings to help a reader easily read, follow and locate information.  This report does not have recommendations as it is informational only.

The expectation is that you provide a robust use of the course readings and research to support ideas, reasoning and conclusions.  This means that you will present an idea and then use the research and the course readings to explain what you presented.   Stringing one sentence after another using the course readings or research does not meet the requirement and does not demonstrate critical thinking.   Critical thinking is demonstrated when the “why and how” and the “who and what” are thoroughly explained. 

NOTE:  All submitted work is to be your original work and only yours. You may not use any work from another student, the Internet or an online clearinghouse.  You are expected to understand the Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism Policy, and know that it is your responsibility to learn about instructor and general academic expectations with regard to proper citation of sources as specified in the APA Publication Manual, 6th Ed. (Students are held accountable for in-text citations and an associated reference list only). 

Read the following case scenario:

Susan Smart and her husband Max love to bake. They also love to travel.  After a recent trip to Egypt the couple returned to their home anxious to try to duplicate the two desserts they had found, Umm Alli and Qatayef.  Umm Alli is a phyllo pastry layered with milk, double cream, and nuts (sometimes, raisins or dates are added).  The dessert is baked in a large pan.  When done, the dessert can be cut into bars much like brownies.  Qatayef, on the other hand, is like Pierogis.  They are crescent shaped dough pockets stuffed with double cream, nuts or custard and baked. The treats are very popular in Egypt and frequently sold by street vendors.  They are often accompanied by coffee.  Drinking coffee is a favorite Egyptian past time and social activity, one that has become popular in America as well.

Susan and Max live in Athens, Georgia.  As college professors at University of Georgia, the couple feels handicapped by having to travel in the summer when travel is most expensive for Americans. Also, the couple’s teaching contracts obligate them to teach at least two summer classes.  They are eligible to take one year off every seven years for sabbatical leave.  In addition, the couple must show evidence of scholarly work at the end of each year (i.e. book, community clinic service, journal, documentary, etc.).  The couple has often thought that they would love to start a small business so that they could have more flexible travel plans. “Truthfully,” Susan says, “we would be truly happy if we had the money and the time to travel.”

The last trip abroad gave them a great idea – Why not start a mobile coffee café that sells Egyptian coffee and desserts?  They could get a small food truck and set up tables and chairs outside the truck bringing them inside at the end of the day.  Susan and Max could move the truck around the city working the hours they wanted and build a broad customer base between the college and downtown businesses.  They believe that this concept is a great new twist on a café.

The couple loves the café idea and have decided to consider moving forward by researching the commercial viability of the business.  They start by consulting other small business owners in the area and made an appointment with the local Small Business Association (SBA) and SCORE, a non-profit associated that helps small businesses get started.  The couple wants to gather the critical data needed to determine how best to prepare for opening “Egyptian Delights”. Susan and Max uncovered the following facts and articles in researching their business opportunity.

Information:

  • 79% of first year small businesses succeed. 50% of all small businesses fail after five years and 33% survive after 10 years in business
  • Small business is the backbone of Athens, Georgia’s local economy

Articles:

Do you remember the enthusiasm? (2013, October 1).  50 food truck owners speak out:  “What I wish I’d known before starting my food truck.”  Retrieved from https://foodtruckr.com/2013/10/what-i-wish-id-known-before-starting-my-food-truck/

Food trucks are advertised as (2016).  The complete breakdown of food truck operation costs.  Food Truck Empire.  Retrieved fromhttp://foodtruckempire.com/how-to/costs/

Newtek (2013, February 26).  7 habits of great small business owners.  Retrieved from Forbes at https://www.forbes.com/sites/thesba/2013/02/26/7-habits-of-great-small-business-owners/#7c1523f334b3

Productivity Teams (n.d.).  11 challenges startups face.  Teamwork.com. Retrieved from https://blog.teamwork.com/11-challenges-startups-face/

Small Business Information, Insight and Resources (2017).  Answers to the 20 Most Frequently Asked Question About US Small Business.  Retrieved fromhttps://smallbusiness.com/selling-to-small-business/small-business-statistics-2016/.

Are you living the dream, or are you living a hectic nightmare?  (2014, July 8).  Successful entrepreneurs’ secrets to mastering work-life balance.   Open Forum Retrieved from https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/successful-entrepreneurs-secrets-to-mastering-work-life-balance/

Small Business Trends (2015, April 20).  3 challenges small business owners face.  Retrieved from https://smallbiztrends.com/2015/04/3-challenges-small-business-owners-facee.html

Tools for New Entrepreneurs.  (2016, January 7). 8 Challenges Facing the New Entrepreneur.  Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/254721

Instructions

Step 1:  Your Role

The Smarts have come to you for advice because they heard you are a small business consultant and business owner who can help explain some of the concerns that their preliminary investigation has revealed. 

Below is a list of considerations that the Smarts have developed for further research and development.  The Smarts have asked you to address these consideration by researching and then putting your findings in a report. 

Considerations

Challenges Facing a Startup Business:  Currently, the Smarts make a combined income of $140,000 after taxes from their jobs at the University of Georgia.  Explain the challenges the Smarts can expect with starting the business in relation to lifestyle, marriage, time management, obtaining health insurance and personal finances.

Building a Team: The Smarts have made it clear that they don’t just want to hire employees but are interested in hiring a team for the Café?  Explain why it is important for the Smarts to use a team approach and give a minimum of three examples of specific areas in the business where a team approach can yield improvement.

Marketing:  The Smarts know they can create a great product that will be appealing to the public.  The Smart know they need to capture the attention of the customers, which is why they believe Egyptian Delights is a good name for the business.  However, they want to be sure to have an appealing name and would like know what different marketing tools can be used to determine the best possible name for the business.  The Smarts are interested in learning about different tools so it is important not to limit the options to the same methodologies.

Secondly, the Smarts need advice on how to promote the café, its products and how to develop the brand.  Explain how the Smarts can use the 4P’s to market the café, its products and build Egyptian Delights’ brand.

Operation Management: In reviewing your notes, you realize that the Smarts have overlooked operations management.  You know this is an important area of focus for the business.  Explain to the Smarts the definition of operations management and why it is important to their particular business.  Explain how attention to operations management impacts the success of the business in terms of employee retention, inventory management, quality control, customer satisfaction and profitability.

Step 2:  Write the Report

Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document using 12-point font.  A report is left-justified with no indentations of paragraphs.  Double space between paragraphs to make the memorandum easy to read.

The report will be between 2-3 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page.  In business, writing must be concise, easy to read and free of writing and grammatical errors.

You are required to use in-text citations and the associated reference will appear in a reference list at the end of the memo (on a separate page).

Use the following in completing the project:

  • Title page with the title, your name, course number and name; date, and the instructor’s name;
  • Overview (brief summary that tells the reader what the report is about; identifies the purpose and the important features of the report). 
  • Background (paraphrase and do not copy/paste from the case scenario)
  • Discussion (covers the elements of the considerations)
  • Conclusion (brief, clearly written and specific as to the major features discussed in the report)
  • References (separate page)

Step 3:  Review the Report 

Read the report to ensure all required elements are present and that the elements address the report requirements.  Use the grading rubric to ensure that you gain the most points possible for this assignment.

Step 4:  Proofread the report for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing.  

  • Read the report aloud as a first measure;
  • Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a second measure;
  • Consider submitting the report to the Effective Writing Center (EWC).  The EWC will provide 4-6 areas that may need improvement.

Step 5:  Submit the report in the Assignment Folder (The assignment submitted to the Assignment Folder will be considered a student’s final product and therefore ready for grading by the instructor.  It is incumbent upon the student to verify the assignment is the correct submission.  No exceptions will be considered by the instructor).

Preparation for Writing the Report

  • Read the grading rubric for the project.  Use the grading rubric while completing the project to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.
  • Third person writing is required.  Third person means that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second person writing).  If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link:  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person.
  • Contractions are not used in business writing, so do not use them.
  • Paraphrase and do not use direct quotation marks.  This means you do not use more than four consecutive words from a source document, but put a passage from a source document into your own words and attribute the passage to the source document.  Provide the page or paragraph number.  Note that a reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.   
  • Other than the eBook for the course, you may not use any other books as source material.
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